With the development of ever more sophisticated theoretical and numerical approaches to describe material behaviours, there is an increasing need for more detailed experimental support to inspire, calibrate and validate these models. At the Division of Solid Mechanics, we have, over a number of years, been developing advanced experimental mechanics approaches to investigate material behaviour under different types of load (mechanical, thermal, hydraulic, hygric, magnetic, electric, electrochemical…) with a view towards understanding material properties and mechanics from the basic building blocks and upwards, i.e., how micro-/nano-structures and mechanisms control macroscopic responses. This requires developing tools and combinations of tools that enable probing of the nano-/micro-scale whilst still considering pertinent sized samples and performing measurements at the macro-scale and understanding the role and evolution of heterogeneity. All of this is performed with a view towards improving our understanding of material behaviours and developing more accurate modelling approaches, i.e., we strive to maintain a close link with the concurrent theoretical and numerical developments in the group.
Our research involving experimental mechanics has a strong focus on “full-field” measurements, such as Digital Image/Volume Correlation (DIC/DVC) and x-ray/neutron tomography. We also exploit x-ray and neutron scattering approaches (SAXS, WAXS, diffraction, 3DXRD, DCT) to investigate nano-scale structures and mechanisms to understand the origins of the micro, meso-and macro-scale behaviours. In many cases we utilise multiple techniques in combination to be able to couple the mechanisms across scales.
The Division hosts the 4D Imaging Lab, a Lund university Infrastructure for x-ray tomography, which we exploit extensively in our own research and in collaborations with other researchers from a diverse range of fields (4D Imaging Lab at Lund University's Research Portal). We also use large-scale facilities, such as MAXIV, ESRF, PSI, ILL, PETRAIII, extensively for x-ray and neutron based experiments. Another key part of our work is the development of “-in-situ” experiments to run, e.g., mechanical loading tests, with simultaneous monitoring with x-ray/neutron imaging/diffraction. We also have strong links with the development of ESS (Europe's future neutron source) and MAX IV in Lund, being involved in the development of beamlines and experiments at both facilities.